Tales from the Café: Are You Sure?

Time: Wednesday, 1:15 pm.

I’ve gotten my fair share of bizarre requests in my time working, both here and at other customer service places where I’ve been employed. I’ve had odd food questions, I’ve had seating requests that don’t make sense, I’ve had complaints and compliments and all kinds of oddness. Most of it doesn’t even affect me anymore.

But every once in a while, something manages to surprise me. And when it does, it’s always a doozy.

Now, it doesn’t really get horrifically cold around here, but in late winter and very early spring, it’s still way too cold to be enjoying outdoor seating. We have the benefit of a fireplace both inside the café and one on the porch, but heat only travels so well when wind is blowing all around. Every once in a while, someone will ask to sit outside by the fire–and within about ten minutes, they’ve come back in again.

The phone rang, and I set down the fork I was polishing to pick up the receiver. “Thank you for calling Mocha Time City Center; this is Hunter. How can I help you?”

“I have a question. Do you have a fire built on your patio today?”

I raised an eyebrow. “I do believe so, but if we don’t I’m sure we can make sure one is. Would you like me to save you a place?”

“Yes. A few friends and I are going to come sit out there by the fire. We’ll bring blankets and everything. We’re determined.”

I blinked, biting back the chuckle. “I’ll make sure the fire is crackling for you.”

“Thank you so much!” I hung up, still watching the phone oddly.

“What’s up?” James asked.

“I’ve had a lady call and specifically request that we have a fire on the patio.”

He blinked. “They want to sit outside? In this weather? It’s twenty degrees outside.”

“They said they’d bring blankets.” I shrugged. “Do we have one set up?”

“I’ll go figure something out. Ten bucks says they give up.”

I smiled. “Oh, I completely agree. But if they think they want to sit outside, I’m not going to tell them no.”

“Fine, then you go set up the fire.” He gestured at me, and I laughed. “I’m serious.”

“Okay, okay. I can do that.” I tugged my sleeves down from where I’d pushed them up and went to find the lighter we used for the fireplaces. If a fire they wanted, a fire I’d give them. For all ten minutes they were outside.


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